says average airfare rose
rose by just $1 last year, although prices are still modestly higher than they were five years ago. Department of Transportation said Tuesday that the average domestic airfare rose to $381 in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 0.3 percent increase from a year earlier.
The figures, which are adjusted for inflation, mostly count round trip fares, but about one fourth are one way trips if that’s what the passenger bought. Taxes are included, but fees for checking bags, boarding early or getting an economy cabin seat with more legroom are not.
In the 12 months that ended last Sept. airlines raised more than $6.1 billion from fees on checked bags and reservation changes, according to government figures.
That’s made airlines less dependent on raising ticket prices to boost profits. Airlines got 71.5 percent of their revenue from fares in 2013, down from 87.6 percent in 1990.
Seaney added that airlines are also pushing up fares for nonstop trips in some cases charging 30 percent to 50 percent more for the convenience of avoiding connecting flights.
The airlines are able to do all this because they are successfully limiting the supply of seats. air travel market.
Most planes are likely to be full this summer during peak vacation season. That means when flights are canceled because of thunderstorms at big, hub airports in Dallas, Chicago and elsewhere, it could be days before stranded passengers find a seat on another flight.
The airlines have long argued that airfares have risen more slowly than many other things consumers buy, from a gallon of milk to the cost of college tuition. was digging out from the worst of the Great Recession. But they are down 16.3 percent since 2000 the peak year for airfares while overall consumer prices have risen 33.9 percent, the government said.
“It’s a great time to fly,” said Jean Medina, spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group. “Air travel is one of the best consumer bargains in America, given its superior speed and price versus other modes of travel.”
It’s also a great time for the airlines.
Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. are expected to report this week that they earned a tiffany uk combined profit of tiffany uk more than $700 million in the first three months of 2014. That’s usually the slowest time of year for travel, and it was considered remarkable when those airlines earned $200 million in the first quarter of last yea tiffany uk r.
Among the big four, only United Airlines parent United Continental Holdings Inc. is expected to report another large loss.
“The airlines are profitable, and they’ve reached the li tiffany uk mits of what consumers can afford, so they’ve dialed back on fare increases,” he said.
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting.